You can transfer AUD to GBP using either a bank or money transfer specialist.
It takes around 3-4 working days for your money to arrive.
In general, banks tend to be a more costly option.
There’s plenty of money transfer companies to choose from, but there are some key differences in both cost and service to be aware of.
How to transfer AUD to GBP (in 4 steps)
Step 1: Register
All new customers must register to comply with anti-money laundering rules.
Whether you use your bank or a money transfer company, international regulations require an identification check.
It doesn’t take long.
The process should take only a few minutes.
In the case of a money transfer company, you should be ready to go on the same working day.
At this point, you can also provide the bank details of the recipient in the UK (can be you or someone else).
Step 2: Get an exchange rate
To transfer money to the UK, the AUD to GBP exchange rate is what matters.
The rate will be fluctuating throughout the day.
Your bank or money transfer company will quote you their latest rate.
Nothing will happen without your consent.
If you are happy to proceed at the rate quoted, your bank or money transfer service will lock-in your rate.
Make sure you know what fees will be charged before you commit to a rate.
Step 3: Send in your Australian Dollars
If you use a bank, they will need your Australian Dollars upfront.
If you use a money transfer company, you can lock in an AUD to GBP rate before you send in your funds.
A money transfer service will provide you with the bank details of their Australian Dollar account. You just need to send across your money using a normal bank transfer.
Step 4: Your AUD is converted to GBP and sent out
Once your AUD is received by your bank or money transfer service, they will convert them into British Pounds at the exchange rate agreed.
Your money will then be sent to the UK bank account requested.
How long does it take to transfer AUD to GBP?
To be on the safe side, I would allow 3-4 working days for your British Pounds to arrive in your UK bank account.
It actually only takes a few minutes to convert your AUD into GBP.
Most of the time taken is waiting for your funds to clear into your UK bank account.
If you see a company advertising ‘same-day transfers’, it’s misleading.
They are referring to how long it takes them to convert and send your money out, but that’s not the same thing as you being able to access your money in the United Kingdom.
The fees & charges explained
When you transfer AUD to GBP, there are two charges to be aware of:
- Exchange rates
As a quick tip: the fees are more visible but tend to be less important than the exchange rate.
Fees (an annoying distraction)
The big Australian banks charge you a fee on every international transfer.
These can vary depending on whether you use a branch or go online and the destination of your traansfer.
Here’s a summary of the fixed fee for a money transfer to the UK:
$6 under $1k, $12 over $1k, $30 branch
$9 under $10k, $0 over $10k
$20 online, $32 branch
While the fees above aren't that big, it’s possible that you may incur other fees, such as a ‘correspondent bank fee’.
This is an additional fee charged by another intermediary bank used in the process of moving your money.
I'm not sure why the banks feels it's right to charge you for this.
If they can't execute your transfer themselves, that's their problem.
There are other potential bank fees too.
If you make an amendment or mistake, you will also incur a fee.
And if you want your payment traced, there’s another fee.
While the fees are annoying, I think they are mainly a distraction.
That’s because when you do the sums, most of the money is made from the exchange rate.
If you want to avoid fees altogether, some money transfer companies (us included) don’t charge any fees at all.
Exchange rates (the silent killer)
Exchange rates are by no means standardised.
Every bank and money transfer company set their own rates.
I was surprised by the AUD to GBP exchange rates offered by the big Australian banks.
The profit margin was a lot higher than I expected.
I guess they make billions for a reason.
Below I’ve put together a summary of their exchange rate margin:
Exchange rate margin
These figures were calculated using a $10,000 exchange of AUD to GBP using the online live exchange rates provided by the big four banks.
The average exchange rate margin is 4.5%
Let’s put that into context.
Here’s an example:
You decide to move back to the UK and have sold your Australian house.
The sale proceeds come to $450,000.
You go to convert your AUD into GBP.
Your bank charges you 4.5% in exchange rate costs.
That works out at $20,250.
You could have bought a car or two first-class tickets to the UK with that!
The point is getting a good exchange rate can make a big financial difference to you.
Don’t feel obliged to use your bank – even if they have your money.
They want you to think that way.
Money transfer companies exist to undercut the banks.
And depending on who you choose, they can also assist you with the set-up, guide you on rates and track your money from start to finish.
As a tip: It can be tricky to make comparisons between providers because the underlying wholesale rate is continually changing.
So try and make your comparison at roughly the same time.
You want to compare apples with apples.
Choosing a money transfer company
Not all money transfer companies offer the same thing.
Beyond the logos and slogans, a lot of the names you see these days are really just 'apps'.
Some of the bigger names are PayPal, Transferwise, Revolut and CurrencyFair.
They offer a 'do-it-yourself' platform.
You have to enter all the info, hit all the buttons, and choose when to exchange your money.
That suits some people, but not others.
In my experience, the apps are popular with people sending regular amounts to family and friends, or online merchants that need to process a lot of small payments.
If however you are sending a more significant sum or are unfamiliar with foreign exchange, you may want a more professional service.
People that are sending life-changing sums don’t want to mess around with new technology.
Some money transfer companies offer expert assistance (from a human being).
They will manage the process for you, make sure things are set up correctly, and work with you to achieve a better exchange rate.
We fall into the latter.
It comes down to what you are looking to do and what your preferences are.
Don’t be fooled by the AUD to GBP rates you see online
The internet is full of information…and misinformation.
When it comes to exchange rates, there are a whole bunch of free websites that display live rates.
I’m sure you’ve come across some of these.
While they offer some good charts, news feeds, and articles, they have a fundamental problem.
The AUD to GBP exchange rates shown are not customer rates.
What you are seeing are ‘interbank rates’.
Interbank exchange rates are the rates used by banks to trade with each other.
In simple terms, it’s essentially a wholesale rate.
The problem is the average person hops on to one of these sites and thinks they are seeing genuine customer rates.
However, buried somewhere in a disclaimer will be a get-out along the lines of the rates shown are “not accessible” or “not transactional” or “indicative only”. Thanks for nothing.
OK, so what should you do?
If you are planning to transfer AUD to GBP, then I suggest you get an actual quote from a real provider (bank or money transfer specialist).
That way, you will know where you stand and can budget effectively.
Getting the best AUD to GBP exchange rate
Exchange rates never sit still for long.
A popular currency pair like AUD to GBP changes every 2-3 seconds.
Over a few days, weeks, or months, the rate can move substantially.
Below you can see just how much the AUD to GBP exchange rate has moved over the last 5 years.
Some of the moves have been massive.
In the chart above, there’s a 34% difference from the high point to the low point!
That’s a lot when you convert it into money.
If you had sent $100,000 at the high, it would have fetched £62,857.
Whereas $100,000 sent at the low would have given you only £46,793.
Mind the gap ladies and gentlemen.
Over longer periods, the movements tend to be larger – particularly when big political events unfold.
But even over a few days or weeks, it’s quite common to have swings of 2%-3%.
On a $100,000 transfer of AUD to GBP, that equates to a $2,000-$3,000 difference.
The more you send, the more the rate matters.
If you are unfamiliar with the foreign exchange markets, you may inadvertently get a bad rate.
You might also be unaware of current trends or upcoming risk events.
While no one has a crystal ball, it can be useful to get some guidance from someone who is monitoring the markets all the time.
For example; they could understand your timeframe and let you know when the AUD to GBP rate moves in your favour.
Or they could discuss market limits or target levels to aim for.
In my view, that’s a lot better than just leaving things to chance or having to accept whatever rate is given to you by a bank or online platform.
Who are we?
Key Currency is a leading money transfer specialist.
We offer you great exchange rates and charge no fees.
Unlike an impersonal bank or online-only platform, we work with you to achieve the best rate possible.
As part of our service, you will be assigned an account manager who can offer you guidance on exchange rates, help set up your payment, and track its progress for you.
We’re committed to providing a service of the highest integrity and safety.
Key Currency is an Authorised Payment Institution (Financial Services Register No. 753989), and as such, all money transfers are conducted through fully safeguarded client accounts.
As a company, we are open and transparent.
The names, faces and backgrounds of our team of people are shown on our website.
We have attained a 5-Star "Excellent" rating on Trustpilot based on over 600 customer reviews.
Whether you are based in Australia or the United Kingdom, we can help.
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